Monday, September 7, 2015

The Big Ten heads into Blacksburg with a 7-6 weekend record riding the shoulders of #1 Ohio State

The Big Ten kicked off its 120th season of competition this weekend. This season will serve as the final transitional year before schools move to nine-game conference slates in 2016. The 2015 Big Ten Football preseason team by team breakdowns linked.

Week One Finale: the Big Ten Conference is only 7-6, heading into tonight's #1 Ohio State vs. #27 Virginia Tech game, in Blacksburg, VA, with a 7 p.m. kickoff on ESPN. Who will be the QB for the Buckeyes in the 2015 opener?

Football captains
Six Ohio State captains leading Buckeyes into 2015 season:
S 23 Tyvis Powell, WLB 37 Joshua Perry, HB 5 Braxton Miller,
QB 16 J.T. Barrett, C 50 Jacoby Boren and LT 68 Taylor Decker.
Breaking down the Big Ten East and West after Week 1:  
  1. #1 Ohio State (0-0) - Regardless of tonight's finish, the Buckeyes are the team to beat in the Big Ten, as the defending College Football Playoff champion and 2014 Big Ten Conference champion. Urban Meyer is 24-0 over three seasons in the regular season. Game notes
  2. The 2015 Michigan State program is riding on the shoulders of winning
    27 of the last 30 games played. Up next: #5 Oregon in East Lansing on Saturday.
  3. #6 Michigan State (1-0) - Mark Dantonio is entering season nine in East Lansing. The Spartans are the only Big Ten team to defeat Urban Meyer's Buckeyes in the 2013 Big Ten title game. Senior QB Connor Cook will have a huge test this week with #5 Oregon coming to East Lansing for the home opener for 2015. Won 37-24 over Western Michigan ahead of stiff home test. Michigan State has won 27 of its last 30 games, dating back to the 2012 regular-season finale. Three losses were @ Notre Dame, @ Oregon and vs. Ohio State in B1G title game.
There are not Top 25 programs right now, in our book, after Week 1, other than Ohio State and Michigan State in the Big Ten Conference. The Top 3 in the Big Ten West: Wisconsin, Minnesota and Nebraska all fell in Week 1 to open the 2015 season.

Michigan and Penn State each fell on the road.

Do we really know anything from the newcomers, after wins over two FCS programs out East?

Indiana looked bad in the Week 1 winner over Southern Illinois, as another MVfC team falls against a Power 5 program. But, IU did win.

How we would rank the Big Ten right now:


1. Ohio State
2. Michigan State
Maryland and Rutgers
Michigan and Penn State


Iowa or Northwestern, no front-runner for the #1 spot - defense wins titles, generally
Minnesota - defense will keep Gophers in most games, but not vs. Top 10 teams
Clearly, no clear cut leaders; any of the programs could sneak into the conversation in West
Wisconsin and Nebraska each have a new head coach, the road may have some bumps in '15
Purdue and Illinois are 1-1 the last two years head to head, with the road team winning each game

  • Michigan and Minnesota open season with a L - Recap
  • Michigan State earns road win at Western Michigan; Illinois opener postponed due to weather - Recap
  • Week one of the 2015 campaign continues with nine more games on Saturday - Recap
  • Purdue falls to Marshall on road to drop Big Ten to 7-6 for 2015 - Recap
  • Ohio State at Virginia Tech closes out first weekend
Jake Rudock

Former Iowa two-year starter, now #1 QB at Michigan. Graduate student Jake Rudock started the opener at Utah at quarterback. He completed 27-of-43 passes for 279 yards and tossed two touchdowns. The Wolverines continued road woes, 11-23, since 2008.

  • Kornacki: Rudock Displays Resiliency When Challenged story. We would suggest Michigan's best chance for success in September clearly is with QB Jake Rudock over junior Shane Morris, based on the experience and abilities to date on the field.
  • Michigan is 11-23, since 2008 on the road. Coach Jim Harbaugh needs to reverse the Michigan troubles on the road under both Rich Rodriquez and Brady Hoke. The Wolverines were 1-4 in 2014, with last road win 10-9 at Northwestern in 2014.

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